Long Beach residents in the 2nd District may vote for a new city council representative sooner than expected if the city clerk’s office verifies that the petition to recall Jeannine Pearce received enough signatures.
The 2nd District consists of areas in downtown Long Beach such as The Pike and the Port of Long Beach. If the petition did gather the 6,363 required signatures, then a vote to decide whether or not Pearce should be removed from office will occur Nov. 6.
Proponents of the recall effort handed their petition to the city clerk’s office Wednesday, May 9 with 9,462 signatures. Of these signatures, only 6,363 need to be from voters registered in the 2nd District. Meeting this number of signatures would trigger the first of two possible votes, according to Pablo Rubio, an analyst from the office of the city clerk.
Ian Patton, a political consultant who submitted the recall petition, said that the number of signatures sends a “very powerful message” that elected officials can be held accountable for their actions.
“She’s embarrassed the entire city with her behavior,” Patton said.
Patton stated that the effort to recall Pearce was sparked by the discovery of a June 3 altercation the councilmember had with a former chief of staff, Devin Cotter, as well as allegations of domestic violence which were also made by Cotter.
If it appears on ballots, the initiative to recall Pearce would apply only to her constituents in the 2nd District.
This would be the same election where voters will elect a new governor for the state of California.
If the option to recall Pearce were to win this hypothetical election, then a second vote to find a replacement would take place on April 9, 2019, according to Rubio. This would be run like a normal election, with Pearce unable to run for reelection as per section 11381 in division 11 of California’s elections code.
The Committee to Recall Councilmember Jeannine Pearce, which an Aug. 25 press release lists Patton as a contact for, also lists special treatment from law enforcement and paying Cotter after he was no longer employed by the city among the reasons for which Pearce’s recall was sought.
According to the Long Beach Post, Pearce met with supporters Wednesday at a bar to celebrate the passing of the recall petition’s deadline. There she claimed that the petition is the work of hotels opposed to her political stances.
“It’s not about my personal situation. I’m really confident that at the polls, should it come to a point where we’re on the ballot in November that the [2nd] District will do the right thing and continue to support the values they supported when I was elected,” Pearce said, according to the Long Beach Post.
If the required number of signatures was not obtained, then 2nd District residents will have to wait until 2020 to elect a new representative.